Japanese American, Brooks Thon, is Associate Professor of Clarinet at Aichi Fine Arts University, Japan’s premiere school for the arts. Prior to this appointment, he was Principal Clarinet of the Osaka Philharmonic (ret.), while holding faculty positions at the National Education University, Osaka and Soai University.
Throughout his diverse career, Brooks has performed as Guest Principal with numerous orchestras in Japan, in addition to being a frequent soloist, chamber musician and educator throughout much of Asia, with guest faculty appointments in China, Taiwan and Korea. He has toured Europe as a concerto soloist (both clarinet and piano) with several respected orchestras and chamber ensembles. As an educator, his students have gone on to study abroad at Oberlin Conservatory and Indiana University, while also having students attend respected institutions of higher learning in Japan.
Having begun his training as a concert pianist, Brooks attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, majoring in clarinet as a student of Richard Hawkins, as well as in piano. Brooks went on to earn two undergraduate performance degrees in piano and clarinet at the University of Michigan, the later as a student of Fred Ormand. Continuing his double degree studies, Brooks earned two Master of Music degrees in piano and clarinet from DePaul University, the later as a clarinet student Larry Combs.
Moving to Japan to attend the renowned Toho Orchestra Academy, Brooks settled in Osaka, performing with the Osaka Philharmonic before assuming the Principal chair in 2003. He is fluent in both English and Japanese.
Aside from his performing and academic accomplishments, Brooks is a competitive table tennis (ping pong) player. He trains and competes with several clubs throughout Japan.
Brooks Thon is a Backun Artist, performing on MoBa Cocobolo Bb and A Clarinets. He is also a Legere Artist and performs on a Richard Hawkins G model mouthpiece.